Cite this article:
Isaac Ntahobakurira, Simon Antara, Tura Boru Galgalo, Jean Baptiste Kakoma, Corine Karema, Thierry Nyatanyi, Rutagwenda Theogene, Odette Mukabayire, David Lowrance, Pratima Raghunathan, Nicholas Ayibazibwe, David Mukanga, Peter Nsubuga, Agnes Binagwaho. The Rwanda Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program: training skilled disease detectives. Pan Afr Med J. 2011;10(Supp 1):7
Key words: Rwanda, field epidemiology, outbreak investigation, FELTPS, public health
Permanent link: http://www.panafrican-med-journal.com/content/series/10/1/7/full
Received: 31/08/2011 - Accepted: 07/12/2011 - Published: 14/12/2011
This article is published as part of the supplement "Field Epidemiology in Africa"
Supplement sponsored by PAMJ and The African Field Epidemiology Network
© Isaac Ntahobakurira et al. The Pan African Medical Journal - ISSN 1937-8688. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
The Rwanda Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program: training skilled disease detectives
Isaac Ntahobakurira1,&, Simon Antara2, Tura Boru Galgalo4, Jean Baptiste Kakoma1, Corine Karema4, Thierry Nyatanyi4, Rutagwenda Theogene5, Odette Mukabayire4, David Lowrance&3, Pratima Raghunathan3, Nicholas Ayebazibwe6, David Mukanga6, Peter Nsubuga7, Agnes Binagwaho4
1National University of Rwanda School of Public Health, Kigali, Rwanda, 2Rwanda Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program, Kigali, Rwanda, 3Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Global Health, Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, 4Rwanda Ministry of Health, Kigali, Rwanda, 5Rwanda Animal Resources Development Authority, Kigali, Rwanda, 6African Field Epidemiology Network, Kampala, Uganda, 7Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for Global Health, Division of Public Health Systems and Workforce Development, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Isaac Ntahobakurira, National University of Rwanda School of Public Health, Kigali, Rwanda
Rwanda still suffers from communicable diseases which frequently lead to epidemics. In addition to other health workforce needs, Rwanda also lacks a public health workforce that can operate multi-disease surveillance and response systems at the national and sub-national levels.In 2009 and 2010 the Rwanda Ministry of Health and its partners from the Government of Rwanda (GOR) as well as the United States (US) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the African Field Epidemiology Network, and other partners embarked on a series of activities to develop a public health workforce that would be trained to operate disease surveillance and response systems at the national and district levels. The Rwanda Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (RFELTP) is a 2-year public health leadership development training program that provides applied epidemiology and public health laboratory training while the trainees provide public health service to the Ministry of Health. RFELTP is hosted at the National University of Rwanda School of Public Health for the didactic training. RFELTP is funded by GOR, the US Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the World Bank; it is managed by a multi-sectoral steering committee headed by the Minister of Health. The first RFELTP cohort has 15 residents who were recruited from key health programs in GOR. Over the first year of implementation, these 15 residents have conducted a variety of field investigations and responded to several outbreaks. RFELTP has also trained 145 frontline health workers through its two-week applied short courses. In the future, RFELTP plans to develop a veterinary track to address public health issues at the animal-human interface.